Rube Goldberg machines are a dime a dozen on the internet. A fact that doesn’t make the circuitous chain-reaction machines any less impressive, but does make them blend together. A new Rube Goldberg machine out of China, however, may stand out among the rest as it’s the “largest” in the world. According to none other than Guinness World Records.
Laughing Squid reported on the largest Rube Goldberg machine in the world. Guinness World Records—the organization that compiles world records for both human achievements and those from the natural world—posted the above video of the epic contraption to its YouTube channel; noting that, in all, the machine requires 427 steps to turn on a neon light. Sort of like Homer Simpson trying to turn on a Moe’s Tavern sign after one too many Duffs.
In the video we watch as a record player kicks off the machine by reeling in a string that pulls a lever that, in turn, kicks out some kind of metal projectile. The metal projectile—which doesn’t look like a steel ball, but could be?—then sets off the other 425 steps. Steps that include things like toy cars zipping around, fidget spinners spinning, and, of course, lots of balls of various sizes and materials rolling up and down ramps.
The entire machine takes about four-and-a-half minutes to execute its function. Narrowly beating out, say, an old MacBook Pro running Big Sur. (Just kidding, of course. But the struggle is real. And also really slow.) The final step sees the machine turn on a triangular, neon sign that reads “Chevrolet” in part. A reference to one of the builders of the machine, Chevrolet Menlo.
Guinness World Records says that Menlo, along with co-builders Wang Xiqi and Guan Jian, needed three months to build the machine. Which is almost as astonishing as the fact that the machine actually worked the whole way through. Although for their next machine maybe Menlo et al. could come up with something that pours a beer. Whoever has to set up these kinds of machines for subsequent rounds probably needs a drink anyway.
Feature image: Guinness World Records